This con was huge… It has certainly grown the 8yrs I have been attending it. I was looking at all my badges and I am still blown away how long I've been going to this convention! I've seen many things change, like hotels, and everything else. One thing I am not so happy about changing wise has been things dealing with costumes and weapons. I also changed how I did things at the con. I usually just "attended" and I got into dressing up and cosplaying like so many there thanks to the work of my roomie and Amberlee. I started doing that about 3yrs ago actually. It's just interesting looking back… :P Ahhh good times and stuff. That aside The long and short of it all this con was pretty good. There were over 15,000 attending here in Dallas and it seems that A-kon has gone more from an anime con to many things like Dragon Con and such…

Thursday:

This was just a preparation day. I usually don't go, but actually am glad I did, and was part of an event group because lots of people were showing up to get badges and I heard that there were over 7000 that pre-reg'd and about 5000 that showed up that day. I was part of AME a fan based musical group that was performing Friday and Saturday. I dressed up as Alphonse Elric from the Full Metal Alchemist movie Conqueror of Shambala. We met up to practice as there was one other group practice I wasn't able to attend due to work schedule. Most hadn't met face-to-face before because distance, with some band members being out of state. The band was counting on people to practice individually and get a good number of songs performance-ready. I had to drop a few songs because of getting eye surgery and not feeling I could have them ready properly. The rehearsal went "ok" though one band member got in quite later than expected, and seems also hadn't properly practiced. Most of the band members had and were ok, though one had a baggage problem and his instrument hadn't arrived yet. :/ That was a definite pain. One good thing he was a brass player and played trombone so I did let him use my Euphonium for some songs that I wasn't in at the practice session.

We practiced from 3pm to 10pm roughly, with a break for pizza. I got the entire group pizza for our dinner break mostly to be nice, and did get at least some thanks from the group members, as most were kinda not piping up, on chipping in for pizza. I don't think I'll offer food like that again, and am going to be more strict on who I help out money wise as that co-worker friend I helped out on my birthday looks to have lost her job here and she has given me a story about going through a divorce… I am pretty much going to kiss that money I helped her out with goodbye, and it was a good chunk of change too… *sighs* I try my best for others and seem to always end up being shorted or something like that. :/

The one good thing was we got our badges and didn't have to wait in line, so I will have to thank AME for that. After practice went home, and that was it…

Friday:

This was the first actual day of the convention. I got up early, had my brother sleep over the night before and we met up with Amberlee at her apartment. It was such a pain lugging the instrument stuff around and it was a good thing that we were given space to store our instruments to enjoy the con and all. I actually had left my Euphonium with the guy who's trombone was lost in baggage to practice, though I don't know if he did or not. I got my instrument back for our 2pm performance though.

I dressed up as Leon S. Kennedy from the Resident Evil series of action/horror games. He was introduced in the second game, but I was going as his character from the fourth game. He is a cool character and lots of people at the con recognized the costume and wanted my picture! ^_^ I found other people from the series of games and got their pictures, and even got pictures of me with them. I even got one guy from RE4 who had a burlap bag on his head and a chainsaw! *chuckles* I got a few good pics of me and that guy. There was even a couple dressed like Alice from the RE movies! There was also a very poorly done Leon and I got my pic with him to show I was WAY better! *chuckles* Amberlee dressed as Umi from Magic Knight Rayeath and my brother dressed up as Jin Uzuki from Xenosaga III. I did find a Hikaru from MKR and got some pictures and know that other pics of her were taken.

Eventually it came time for our "concert" and found we were to perform in the main convention area right in front of the registration line... Not everyone arrived on time and the sound system didn't get fully setup until we were like three songs into the set. No one could really hear us over the din from the large amount of people and we did not do so well in my opinion... :/ *grumbles* Other than that had some food and snacks... Didn't stay late for the dance as we had to be back early at 9am Saturday for another music thing with the same group, but this time in a room and not in the large convention center... Our group leader was most optimistic, but some of the rest of us weren't so... I also attended a voice acting panel which was pretty cool as well.

So that was pretty much it besides also putting my Nerf gun to my older brother's head as he was running the battle pods on the 3rd floor of the convention center.

Saturday:

I went to the convention separately from everyone else as parts of my costume were at my apartment and granted things might have been easier if I had been able to sleep over at Amberlee's apartment... I got up and got to the con with all my stuff on time so it wasn't a big deal.

We had the AME panel @ 9am and for the most part the music played was all good, though we definitely sounded like a number of people really needed more practice. At least we let people know ahead of time we weren't "professionals" just lovers of music and fans. There wasn't much of an audience either, but I wouldn't have blamed people as it was really early and the dealer's room wasn't open and such. All in all it wasn't bad... Amberlee was by far the best player and "pardon the phrase" music to everyone's ears. Her solo piece was amazing as well... She knew her stuff better than anyone in the group and was such an asset and people took her for granted and she was basically the leader of the group this year which she didn't want to be... :/ She went through hell stress wise for this music group and I just wish things had gone better in general because she was not happy with how things went and a number of people from the group who hadn't practiced enough and things like that... Lots of us were not at her same level of professionalism, but should have been more confident and practiced hard like she did... Not only did she do 95% of the music transcribing, but she was doing costuming on top of that and didn't have much free time at all... In short I just wanted to say thank you here for everything Amberlee, the group would have fallen apart if it were not for you.

After the concert I got dressed as chaos from Xenosaga III, Amberlee dressed as Shion from Xenosaga II, and my brother again was Jin Uzuki from Xenosaga III. People did recognize us and we had some pictures taken of us, but seems that the Xenosaga series along with Xenogears isn't as popular with main stream as things like Final Fantasy and other things... *shrugs* Ah well... They're missing out on some great games IMOP.

Ate, hung out with friends, and also participated in breaking a world record for the Guinness Book of World Records! There is a record for most video game cosplayers in one place set in England and that was around 80 people in costume... We almost beat that 10x over... We had a total of 697! It was so annoying waiting in line and being shuffled about. I think we may have broken a fire code or two... It was still fun and lots of people in the line were crazy people! :P Not saying I'm not crazy mind you. People got to singing songs while in line and things like that to pass the time... It was a long ordeal, but eventually got through it... I think it was worth it for the most part and being part of breaking a record. After that we went and tried being part of a costume contest that would have had us walk across the main stage during the big cosplay contest and a prize as well, but none of us were chosen... I can't believe they chose a bowser that was in a very horrid costume... :/ *grumbles* At least they chose a real cool person dressed as Vincent from Final Fantasy VII. ;) One unfortunate thing is that my costume began having a wardrobe malfunction at the end and I am now glad I wasn't chosen. Sad thing is I may have to retire my chaos costume... :(

There wasn't much after that and eventually went home...

Sunday:

Final day of the convention... Unfortunately all good things must come to an end eh? I got dressed up as Tristan from the movie Stardust and Amberlee dressed up as Yvaine from the same movie. We got there kinda late-ish but that wasn't necessarily a bad thing as there weren't many things going on today. I did go to the dealer's den and made a few purchases and one person did validate my costume, but didn't get any pictures taken of me, and neither did Amberlee... :/ *shrugs* Ah well... no biggie. Ate food and did attend a cold reading panel with people from Funimation. It was pretty funny truth be told. Met up with other friends, and said goodbyes as I had to get Amberlee back to her apartment as she had to go to work...

Stayed over at the apartment, and went out to eat with Savrin and Dylan. Then watched some Death Note, and other stuff before eventually retiring for the evening myself. I did have to call to work to find out my schedule as it got changed this week... I don't get Thursday off like usual, but each day I'm working only 8am - 4:30pm si less hours it seems which is all good.

So there is my con report... My next update is going to be a more introspective one I do believe...
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